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Firm Structure, Search and Environmental Complexity

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  • Jason Barr

    ()

  • Nobuyuki Hanaki

    ()

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between environmental complexity and firm organization. We ask: Given the complexity of the environment, which organizational structure and level of decision making authority optimizes performance of a firm? We assume the information processing organization is arranged hierarchically, but that decisions can be made at different levels, and thus centralization directly relates to the quantity of information used in making a decision. We model the external environment as a modified NK landscape. Via simulations, we explore which type of organizational structure and level of decision making maximizes firm profits, given the complexity of the environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark in its series Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark with number 2005-007.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2005-007

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Keywords: Information Processing; Organizational Structure; Rugged Landscapes;

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  1. Sadao Sakakibara & Barbara B. Flynn & Roger G. Schroeder & William T. Morris, 1997. "The Impact of Just-in-Time Manufacturing and Its Infrastructure on Manufacturing Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(9), pages 1246-1257, September.
  2. Raghuram Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2003. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," NBER Working Papers 9633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
  4. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, 2000. "Centralization vs. Decentralization in a Multi-Unit Organization: A Computational Model of a Retail Chain as a Multi-Agent Adaptive System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1427-1440, November.
  5. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2003. "Multimarket Competition, Consumer Search, and the Organizational Structure of Multiunit Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 541-552, April.
  6. Auerswald, Philip & Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Shell, Karl, 2000. "The production recipes approach to modeling technological innovation: An application to learning by doing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 389-450, March.
  7. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  8. Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Macready, William G., 2000. "Optimal search on a technology landscape," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 141-166, October.
  10. Barr, Jason & Saraceno, Francesco, 2002. "A computational theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 345-361, November.
  11. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  12. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E Harrington, 2000. "Organization of Innovation in a Multi-Unit Firm: Coordinating Adaptive Search on Multiple Rugged Landscapes," Economics Working Paper Archive 442, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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